Friday, March 6, 2009

New Orleans or Bust...

Phil Middleton & Richard O’Connor are planning a mother of a canoe journey down the Mississipi River this spring. Starting at the headwaters of the St. Croix River in northern Wisconsin, their plan is to make it to New Orleans in an aluminum canoe. They've set up a great blog site to document their journey complete with their unique brand of humour.

While Rich has already bonded with a lightweight, cedar bent-shaft paddle, Phil took it upon himself to carve his own for the journey. Turns out he got his lumber stock from Timeless Timber, a unique company that deals in salvaged wood recovered from the murky depths of the Great Lakes. Phil scored a pretty interesting bit of yellow birch with a beautiful grain and documented the construction of his paddle (all handtools) in this post. Great stuff and a memorable way to prepare for this grand adventure!


Phil carving away


Phil's custom paddle for their journey down the Mississipi River



1 comment:

Phil said...

Murat,
Thanks for the plug, Sorry I didn't notice it earlier. I just wanted to let you know that I have officially finished my paddle. I narrowed the blade by about a inch and flattened it out quite a bit. I used Spar Urethane as varnish and it really brought out the pyrography work. As a final touch I tied a 3-pass Turks-head knot around the throat and it looks really sharp. I can't wait to baptize it in lake superior. My tribal professor/elder is urging me to smudge it with sage before we leave. I may take him up on it.

I hopefully will get a chance to get out and take some pictures of it and post them on our blog. It looks quite different from the current picture you have selected.
Take care and Miigetch (thanks)
-Phil

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